The two coyote sightings reported in Milton police incident logs over the past week were nothing out of the ordinary, according to the department’s animal control officer.
“We've been having coyotes for years, and we’ve had no more and no less," said Officer Linda Kippenberger. “They’re a very constant presence in Milton, and they are everywhere.”
The two recent sightings were in a backyard on Pierce Street on Feb. 4 and on Brush Hill Road on Feb. 8.
Kippenberger said that people in areas around the Blue Hills Reservation and Curry College are most likely to spot the animal.
The most important safety advice she gives residents who call the police or the Milton Animal League to report a coyote is to treat it as a wild animal and not try to tame it.
“I tell people to do all you can, not to attract them,” said Kippenberger.
Some of her suggestions are to make noise when you see a coyote so the animal will run away, by either carrying a whistle and using it, or honking your horn as you’re leaving your car to get indoor.
It is also important to keep lids on garbage bins and not to leave pet food outside, said Kippenberger.
She said whenever she gets a call about a coyote, she would always go out to the location to inspect the area. Normally a healthy coyote will be gone before she arrives, but if the animal doesn't leave it may be a sign of a problem.
For example, a coyote spotted lingering around Brush Hill Road recently had lost all of its hair and had a skin disease called mange. Police had to kill the animal because it was ill.
Other than this incident with the sick animal, Kippenberger said the department hasn’t had any problems with coyotes in Milton.
The presence of coyotes is a reminder that we share the town with wildlife, Kippenberger said. “I think we’re lucky that we live next to the Blue Hills and we have all of this wildlife."
Sarah Favot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.